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Demo as court hears Facebook soldier deaths slur charge

Category: England

Published: 20th Mar 2012 14:16:44

Protesters gathered outside a court as a teenager was accused of posting an offensive Facebook message about the deaths of six British soldiers.

Azhar Ahmed, 19, of Fir Avenue, Ravensthorpe, appeared at Dewsbury Magistrates' Court charged under the Communications Act 2003.

A racially-aggravated public order charge was withdrawn at the hearing and Mr Ahmed denied the new charge.

He was bailed to appear before Huddersfield magistrates on 3 July.

There was a large police presence outside court as about 50 protesters staged a noisy demonstration when the defendant arrived and left.

Some of the protesters held placards - featuring the name of the paramilitary group Combined Ex-Forces - calling for those who insult British armed forces to be jailed.

The six soldiers were killed by an improvised explosive device in Lashkar Gah on 6 March in the deadliest single attack on British forces in Afghanistan since 2001.

Sgt Nigel Coupe, 33, of 1st Battalion The Duke of Lancaster's Regiment was killed alongside Cpl Jake Hartley, 20, Pte Anthony Frampton, 20, Pte Christopher Kershaw, 19, Pte Daniel Wade, 20, and Pte Daniel Wilford, 21, all of 3 Battalion, The Yorkshire Regiment.

Mr Ahmed's court appearance coincided with the repatriation of the soldiers' bodies, which are being flown to RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire on Tuesday.

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BBC News, 2012. Demo as court hears Facebook soldier deaths slur charge [Online] (Updated 20th Mar 2012)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/1417550/Demo-as-court-hears-Facebook-soldier-deaths-slur-charge [Accessed 2nd Sep 2014]

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